Make Someone’s Day 2018 Impact Report

Nominators, proxies, and local honorees in line to receive porcelain flower arrangements handmade by the community.
Nominators, honorees, and proxies select porcelain arrangements.

Outcomes + Impact

Project + Primary Objectives Overview

Make Someone’s Day is a social art project & pop-up community art studio. The primary objectives are to gather the overlapping and intersecting communities of Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati around collaborative gestures of kindness, empathy, and solidarity, and to create opportunities for personal enrichment, new connections, and shared experiences.

Our project invites the community to nominate Greater Cincinnati locals to be honored with handmade porcelain flower arrangements. At our community studio, we invite visitors to get their hands dirty by helping us create porcelain flowers for honorees. Additionally, we offer free weekly creative workshops–led in partnership with local businesses, nonprofits, and artists.

Detailed Project Description

Make Someone's Day featured an installation of thousands of porcelain flowers to inspire community participation, a community studio space designed to support ceramic flower production and weekly creative workshops, as well as a nomination table, and a small reference library.

Make Someone’s Day was open during the Summer of 2018 for 8 weeks between June 28th & August 19th. Our doors were open 37 hours per week, Thursday through Sunday. We hosted 2,260+ visitors and offered participation in all activities and events free of charge. During the first 6 weeks, community members nominated 110 local individuals to be honored with porcelain flower arrangements. During the same period, 225+ volunteer participants hand built and glazed over 1,020 porcelain flowers. Our team guided participants by demonstrating basic ceramic techniques. Flowers were shuttled back and forth between the Globe space and my home studio each week for separate bisque and glaze firings. Our team and myself attached floral wire and wooden stems to complete each glazed flower. During the sixth week, I created porcelain vases for each nominee at NKU. In week seven, these flowers and vases were assembled into arrangements in honor of all 110 local nominees. A community celebration on August 16th kicked off the distribution phase of the project, when we welcomed nominators, proxies, and honorees to pick up their arrangements.

Over the course of Make Someone’s Day, 82 participants attended weekly creative workshops led in partnership with the following local businesses, nonprofits, and artists: Carisa Hund-Bunten of 7th Street Gifts, Artist Suzanne Seesman, Artist Andrew Hostick of Visionaries + Voices, Julie Pelle of Potager + Pottery, Kaia Goodwin of Abundance Box, Bonnie Carpenter of Greater Cincinnati Japan America Society, Justin Frazier of Queen City Shrub, and Artist Lauren Wells.

Make Someone's Day was designed, developed and led by Bethany Pelle. The project could not have been accomplished without the ongoing technical, operational and emotional support of volunteers and staff: Julie Pelle, Ron Pelle, Curtis McCartney, Charlie Keiser, Will Humason, and Ezra Cline.

Ron Pelle, Curtis McCartney, and Julie Pelle
Ezra Cline , Charlie Keiser, Will Humason

How was the project's effectiveness measured and evaluated?

This project’s impact depended inherently upon its capacity to resonate personally with participants and recipients; to inspire meaningful engagement, celebrate individual contributions, and promote a shared spirit of generosity. We measured impact quantitatively by counting visitors, levels of participation, and our ability to fulfill all nominations. Qualitative impact measures include news coverage, direct messages, social media mentions, and candid feedback.


Quantitative Measures

Relationships of Nominators to Honorees

Geographic Distributions of Participants

Geographic Distribution of Nominees

Qualitative Outcomes

News Media Coverage

City Beat Coverage, Including "Best Of", WCPO Interview (not available online)

A Special Invitation & Direct Messages from Impact 100

I was honored with an invitation from Claire Blankemeyer, President of Impact 100, to present an arrangement on her behalf to Impact 100 Founder Wendy Steele (pictured above) during their annual awards ceremony on September 13, 2018.

[...] So much of our philosophy of Impact 100 is rooted in the way you executed "Make Someone's Day!" What a perfect gift. Thank you!"

–Clare Blankemeyer, President of Impact 100

It's hard to find ways to say thank you to someone as special as Wendy [Steele], especially when the Impact 100 model has launched worldwide from Cincinnati. This was a really great tool! Thank you to People's Liberty, Haile, and Bethany for sharing this wonderful gift and tool. [...] And special thanks to Bethany for this great opportunity!”

–Clare Blankemeyer, President of Impact 100

Sample of Feedback on Social Media:

Sample of Candid Feedback & Additional Direct Messages

“I’m so sad this project is temporary.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/4/18

“In a political climate like this–you’ve found a way to bring people together around shared positivity!” –candid feedback recorded on 8/4/18

“Really beautiful work.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/4/18

“What a lovely, lovely mission.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/4/18

“You should be seriously proud of what you've accomplished.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/4/18

“Will you start another session?” –candid feedback recorded on 8/5/18

“Unbelievable. I’ve got chills.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/13/18

“Thank you for what you do.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/16/18

“How fun!” –candid feedback recorded on 8/18/18

“Thank you, this is incredible.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/18/18

“Thank you for the work you do.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/18/18

“I had family in from Anne Arbor. They can’t stop talking about what a great time they had.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/18/18

“They’re gonna be so excited!” –candid feedback recorded on 8/19/18

“Thank you for this. Awesome experience!” –candid feedback recorded on 8/19/18

“That’s a great concept! I love it.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/19/18

“Thank you for all the work you’ve been doing.” –candid feedback recorded on 8/19/18

“Fabulous! Thank you!!!” –Kae 8/15/18

“Thanks for doing such a great job downstairs! I’m sad we didn’t realize you were doing this earlier!” –Keren 8/15/18

“Bethany’s project was phenomenal... as is she!” –Eric Avner, CEO of People’s Liberty

“Sorry to miss! But kudos! This is amazing.” –Megan Trischler, Program Director at People's Liberty

“Ms. Pelle, This is VERY fun! [...] Thank you!” –Kate Jarvi, Administrative Coordinator, YWCA Greater Cincinnati

“Bethany, Thank you, thank you for the flower arrangement. I will be giving it to Debbie later today, and it’s beautiful. Thanks again, Kate” –Kate Jarvi, Administrative Coordinator, YWCA Greater Cincinnati

How has this experience impacted your current goals and future ambitions?

My current goals are to leverage creativity, compassion, and critical thinking through civic & social art projects for community-driven cultural development. I aim to collaborate with artists, communities, change-makers, and administrators on social innovation initiatives for more vibrant, deeply connected communities.

My experience as a PL Globe Grantee has driven me to articulate these goals and pursue every opportunity to learn, connect, and prepare for this work. For example, I've pursued the following opportunities since being awarded a Globe Grant:

  • Fall 2017 - C4 Atlanta - "Hatch" Intensive Training on Community Centric Art Practices, Completed
  • Fall 2017 - Kentucky Foundation for Women - Artist Enrichment Grant, Applied, but not awarded
  • Winter 2018 - Joyce Foundation - The Artist as Problem Solver, Creative Placekeeping/Place Making Conference, Attended
  • Spring 2018 - Indigo Hippo - Training on Creative Arts Programming, Completed
  • Spring 2018 - The Hive - Training on Creating Trauma-Informed Classrooms, Completed
  • Spring 2018–Present - ArtWorks - Project Manager, Social Intervention Project to Reduce Mental Health Stigma Among Teens, In progress
  • Fall 2018 - ArtWorks - CO.STARTERS business development program for creatives, artisans, and lifestyle entrepreneurs, Upcoming
  • Accepted 2018 - Design Impact & United Way -The Shift, Social Innovation Challenge, Deferred til Fall 2019.

My future ambitions include working with communities in Newport, KY to develop a central creative community center/social arts center/makerspace in response to goals articulated by the community in ReNewport's 2025 Quality of Life Plan. I anticipate this work will be continuously informed by my experience as a Globe Grantee and quite possibly impacted by contributions from other PL alumnae.

What is your proudest moment of this experience?

I’m really proud to have created a project with the community that models generosity, solidarity and gratitude. I'm proud we provided an opportunity for participants to collaborate with each other on gestures of love and appreciation. And I'm especially proud that this seems to have resonated so strongly with participants and the community at large.


Alex Larrison, Steph Landry, Bethany Pelle, Emily Vriesman

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